Citizen Science goes Open Source at O’Reilly’s OSCON (and I’ll be there to talk about it!)

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Update: link to my talk:

Citizen Science is making a big splash at this years Open Source Conference (OSCON)! And how! For the first time in its 13 year history, Citizen Science will be one of OSCON’s primary tracks!

What does that mean for us biohackers and garage scientists? For starters, it signals that we no longer have to lay low, trying to do work on the sly without alerting the township. Turns out that, when we wander out of our garages, the cool hunters think, well… that what we’re doing is cool, not that we’re out to genetically modify their faces off.

We’ve been recognized as so cool, in fact, that, this summer, we’ll be joining the software and tech l33t to speak out about participatory healthcare, crowdscourced science, and garage-to-bedside bio.

Our arrival at OSCON signifies the rise and the legitimization of citizen science as well as the inherently collaborative nature of the growing synthetic biology and genomic fields. We need biologists, chemists, programmers, entrepreneurs and more! My hope is that geeks in all fields will get jazzed about science and begin thinking about how they can contribute to these bodies of work. Perhaps a few will join us at BioCurious.


Take a look at the 2010 list of “Who Should Attend,” below. It’s blatantly lacking life science. But! No longer! Genomera‘s Raymond McCauley and Greg Biggers will take the stage the morning of July 28, 2011 to talk about DIY Clinical Trials (“or How to Guinea Pig Your Way to Scientific Truth). Our colleague Melanie Swan at DIYgenomics will present later in the day on Open Source Medicine & Genomics.  And, in a move that knocked my socks off, Edd Dumbill, as in the Edd Dumbill that co-chairs the thing, invited me to keynote for the Citizen Science track. (I said yes! and:) I’m still blushing.

Thanks kindly to Edd, co-chair Sarah Novotny and Tim O’Reilly for elevating citizen science!

See OSCON keynotes here. I’ll be speaking at 10.40a on July 28th. You won’t see much info on the page yet, as I haven’t done my presentation! Have some ideas on what should make the cut?  Please add your thoughts below!

  • Developers and programmers
  • Engineers
  • Designers
  • Sys admins
  • [BIO]Hackers and geeks[Ya ya!]
  • Enterprise developers and managers
  • IT managers and CxOs
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Activists
  • Trainers and educators



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